Vegetarian food blog featuring delicious and nutritious whole food recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Chocolate Refried Beans – Only in Mexico, Or Maybe Not

Chocolate Refried Beans - a Mexican inspired version of refried beans with cocoa for added richness and umami flavours. It's a quick to make meal and always popular.

This recipe for chocolate refried beans is a heavily adapted version of Chantal Coady’s ‘Mexican refried beans with chocolate sauce‘ from her book Real Chocolate. I didn’t have some of the ingredients required nor the forethought to do the requisite planning, but needless to say, it’s delicious and I’ve made it many times since.

Chocolate Refried Beans

I’m a huge fan of refried beans. Not only because they’re tasty and comforting, but principally they make a nice quick meal when we get home from work. It’s also a good excuse to indulge in tortilla chips. Until I spotted this chocolate refried beans recipe however, I’d never made them with cocoa before – until now!

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous or have more time, these chocolate refried beans can play a starring role in an amazing vegetarian or vegan Mexican-style feast. This first time, we served them with tortilla chips, sheep’s yoghurt and chopped parsley with purple sprouting broccoli on the side. But they’re particularly good when rolled into warm tortillas with a spicy salsa, guacamole, feta-style cheese, coriander leaves and a green salad.

I keep telling myself that next time I make chocolate refried beans, I’ll attempt to follow the original recipe more closely. But somehow this has never actually happened. I’m happy with my version, although I’ll often wing it and add different herbs and spices or use whatever beans I happen to have to hand. I only had a tin of haricot beans this time, so that’s what I used. As I had plenty of homemade chilli sauce, I used some of that too, but any hot chilli sauce should work.

Savoury Chocolate Recipes

Adding chocolate to savoury recipes is a splendid idea. Mexicans are not averse to it and I whole heartedly approve. The cocoa really enhances these refried beans and makes them particularly rich with lots of umami notes. Serve them with yoghurt or sour cream and it will cut beautifully through that richness. Go on, try it.

Chocolate Refried Beans – The Recipe

Chocolate Refried Beans
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins

This is a really quick recipe when you're in a hurry for something to eat. Cocoa really enhances refried beans and makes them particularly rich with lots of umami notes.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: cocoa, refried beans
Servings: 2 people
Author: Choclette @ Tin and Thyme
  • 1 small onion - finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic - finely chopped
  • glug of olive oil
  • knob of unsalted butter
  • 1 400 g tin black beans or red kidney beans (I used haricot beans the first time as that was all I had)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp hot chilli sauce - I used my own homemade chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  1. Fry the onion and garlic gently in the oil and butter for about 10 minutes or until translucent.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pan.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Mash roughly and serve.
Recipe Notes

Serve with tortilla chips, thick yoghurt or sour cream, chopped coriander or parsley and a green salad.

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this chocolate version of refried beans, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Chocolate Refried Beans. PIN IT.

Chocolate Refried Beans - a Mexican inspired version of refried beans with cocoa for added richness and umami flavours. It's a quick to make meal and always popular. #TinandThyme #RefriedBeans #Mexican #VegetarianRecipe #pulses #beans #vegetarian



  1. realfoodlover

    2nd April 2010 at 11:28 am

    This is brilliant as – truth be told – I am more a savoury than sweet gal.

    I love the idea of using chocolate in a savoury chilli dish – classic Aztec combo!

    And with tinned bean! I stockpile tins of beans – talk about versatile.

    Brilliant idea – thank you.

  2. Gemma-Louise

    4th April 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Mm, I love anything with beans in it and love the refried beans from my local mexican – these sound lovely. Reckon, I’ll have to jot down your recipe and give them a try 🙂 x

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